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String Theory: Fusion, by Kirsten Beyer Book Review | SFReader.com
String Theory: Fusion, by Kirsten Beyer Genre: Star Trek Publisher: Pocket Books Published: 2005 Review Posted: 9/18/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
String Theory: Fusion, by Kirsten Beyer
Book Review by Heather Hunt
Have you read this book?
Fusion is the second book in the Star Trek Voyager String Theory series, which is advertised as a "tenth anniversary odyssey." This 400-page paperback by Kirsten Beyer manages to tell an epic story in its own right while fitting nicely in between "Cohesion" and "Evolution," the first and third books in the trilogy.
Fusion features a photo of Tuvok on its cover, but unfortunately he spends much of the book out of commission. But since it's his uncharacteristic behavior in going AWOL at the end of "Cohesion" that drives the action in Fusion--and that puts the crew in great danger as they attempt to rescue him--then I guess his photo is justified, after all. Without giving too much away, he is also given a heroic and self-sacrificing moment near the end of the novel that also merits a cover shot. However, those expecting Tuvok to be the star of this book, as B'Elanna was the star of her cover story in Book One, will be disappointed.
Just about every one of the crew is featured in this story and gets meaningful, in-character stuff to do. Everyone gets to be heroic in some way, everyone contributes to exploring the alien dual-ring array perched on the edge of a black hole singularity where Tuvok ends up, and everyone helps in their escape once Tuvok is retrieved. That might sound like a spoiler, but readers of TV fiction already know that all conditions must be reset by the end of the novel so as not to mess with canon. Suffice to say, the reset in Fusion is quite a surprise.
Most impressive to me, considering the balance of characters, the intricacies of the plot, and the depth of the science on string theory and what can happen when beings try to control strings, is the fact that Fusion is Beyer's first full-length novel. She must have worked in close collaboration with Jeffrey Lang, because her book is an integrated sequel to his "Cohesion." Many references are made to Seven and B'Elanna's mini-collective experience, and their actions in Book Two reflect that brief merge of their personalities. They take a backseat in this novel, however, in order to let other characters be featured.
I have no reason to doubt that Heather Jarman, the last author in this trilogy, also worked closely with Lang and Beyer, since Book Two ends with the doctor acting more peculiar than usual, and indeed, the holographic medical officer is pictured on the cover of Book Three. I can think of no better recommendation than that I enjoyed Fusion so much I am eager to find out how the epic concludes in "Evolution."
It is only for subjective reasons that I rate Fusion lower than "Cohesion": I personally enjoy B'Elanna's and Seven's characters more than Tuvok's. Voyager fans who don't play favorites, however, will enjoy Book Two every bit as much as Book One.
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